Emma Lipstone and Susy Solino
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone Number: (818) 560 – 1000
The Walt Disney Company was founded on October 16, 1923 by Walter Elias Disney and is headquartered in Burbank, CA. The Company is one of the biggest media and entertainment corporations in the world. . Walt Disney Studios is home to the four major film studios: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm Ltd. The Walt Disney Company also owns and operates Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Disney Music Group, Disney Theatrical Group, DisneyToon Studios, Touchstone Pictures, and DisneyNature. .
Disney’s animation studio has produced around fifty-five animated feature films, with the fifty-sixth being Moana that was just recently released. Pixar has produced seventeen films; the most recent being Finding Dory. In 2009, Disney purchased Marvel Studios and has since produced multiple movies based off of Marvel comic book characters including: The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Most recently in 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. which is the studio best known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.
In addition to popular film franchises, Walt Disney Company owns and operates many television channels that produce popular television series’. The biggest subsidiary under Disney Media Networks is ABC, which produces hit network shows such as Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder. . Disney also owns ESPN and operates A&E Networks in a joint venture with Hearst Corporation, along with a portion of Hulu.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) stock has been declining in the past few quarters.
According to the earnings report released on November 10, 2016, operating income at Cable Networks decreased $207 million to $1.4 billion for the quarter due to decreases at ESPN and the Disney Channels. .
ESPN has been losing subscribers to online streaming, such as Netflix or over-the-top streaming services. Also, social media has provided access to a lot of breaking news and sports live broadcasting, luring viewers away from cable television. One of the biggest issues facing ESPN and The Walt Disney Company is that the sports cable network has already paid huge rights fees for the next 5 years, yet subscribers are only paying $8 a month to cover the games, which will not exist in a few years. The increase in programming and production costs were due to The Olympics programming internationally, the World Cup of Hockey rights, and higher contractual rates for college sports. .
However, the growth at Freeform, which is the old ABC Family, has been very successful this quarter due to lower programming and production costs, as well as a decrease in marketing expenses. These were driven by fewer hours of original scripted programming in the current quarter.
Box Office Reports
2016 was announced as The Walt Disney Company’s most successful International Box Office record to date, reporting over $3.56 Billion through October 16th in just international sales, surpassing their 2015 general record of $3.56 Billion. . This was due to a powerhouse series of releases throughout 2016, beginning with the summer blockbuster Captain America: Civil War which brought in 1.15 Billion worldwide viewers, $745 million Internationally and was named the No. 1 film of the year internationally and globally. .
The animated release of Zootopia also helped spike Disney’s international numbers as it was named the biggest animated film to ever be released in China and brought in $682.3 million internationally. Elsewhere in the studio, 2016’s surprise remake of The Jungle Book also experienced a successful release, bringing in $602.3 million internationally as well as the title of “Top Western Film of all Time” in India and the No. 3 film of the year overseas. . Furthermore, while being in the box office for nearly 16 weeks, Finding Dory managed to break records and pass the billion dollar global box office line by bringing in $484.8 million domestically and $519.9 million internationally, making it Pixar’s second billion dollar release and earning a rank as the 5th biggest animated film of all time, globally. .
As though breaking international box office records was not enough, Disney also managed to set new industry records for reaching $2 billion domestic (July 16th) and $5 billion global (July 10). As well as earned three new spots in the Hall of Fame for domestic box offices with Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, and Zootopia. All of this success comes with still two-and-a-half months and three major releases remaining in their calendar year. .
Recent and Future Releases
Marvel Studio’s Doctor Strange represents another large victory for The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel unit, even on the heels of the overwhelming success of Captain America: Civil War.
Doctor Strange was projected to collect anywhere from $65 million to $75 million in ticket sales from the United States and Canada through opening weekend, positively surprising analysts and bringing in $85 million and the #1 rank instead. Since its release, Doctor Strange has made over $200 million domestically and over $400 million internationally, crossing $600 million worldwide in under 4 weeks. .
Moana, who was scheduled for a holiday release, has surpassed the high expectations set by Doctor Strange, bringing in over $81 million domestically throughout its opening weekend. .
Further down the line, fans eagerly await the release of Star Wars: Rogue One. As well as Disney’s live action remake of Beauty and the Beast and the recently announced remakes of Mulan and Snow White. All of which are predicted to be box-office heavy hitters. .
In light of a growing diverse culture and need for representation in the film industry, Disney had begun fighting back against claims of their white-washing tactics and ill representation in their films by allowing more diverse roles in their characters and plots.
This year’s recently released Moana revolves around Tahitian and Pacific Islander culture and will be the first Disney film every to be translated into the Tahitian language. . Furthermore, Disney introduced the world to their first Latina princess earlier in the year with the release of their television series Elena of Avalor, a Disney Channel show revolving around latin customs and characters  further proving the Company’s desire to focus on promoting more representation of diversity through their media. In addition to their animated strikes towards representation, Disney has announced their search for Chinese actors to star in the upcoming Mulan remake. .
In addition to divulging into a more diverse space, Disney has also shown interested in expanding into a more digital and web space with their media. In September 2016, Disney began showing signs of interest for acquiring the social media giant, Twitter Inc., going as far as to work with advisors to put together a potential bid for the company. . While eventually deciding to go against the deal for image reasons, as the social network is known for its reputation of bullying and harassment, the interest in social media gives clear insight that Disney has begun exploring new digital horizons. . Many analysts have taken note of Disney’s interest to expand digitally and predict that the streaming giant, Netflix, might be next on the company’s list of potential assets. .
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